How much does drain cleaning cost?
$100 – $275 clean one drain
$175 – $600 clean multiple drains or main line
Drain cleaning prices
Drain cleaning prices are $100 to $800. Drain cleaning costs depend on the clog type, severity, and location. The cost for a plumber to unclog a sink or toilet is $100 to $275, while main sewer drain cleaning costs $175 to $800. Drain tile cleaning costs $200 to $600.
|Basic cleaning – tub, shower, toilet, sink, or vent||$100 – $275|
|Cleaning multiple fixtures or main line||$175 – $600|
|Severe main drain cleaning with hydro jetting||$300 – $800|
|Storm drain, French drain, or drain tile cleaning||$200 – $600|
|AC drain line cleaning||$75 – $250|
Average cost of drain cleaning by service
Cost to unclog or snake a drain
The average cost to unclog a drain is $100 to $275 for a simple sink, tub, or toilet clog. Snaking a main drain line or complex blockage involving multiple fixtures costs $175 to $600. A manual snake works for most small clogs. Larger clogs typically require a plumber's power auger.
Main sewer line cleaning cost
Main sewer drain cleaning costs $175 to $600 on average. Severe blockages requiring hydro jetting increase the sewer cleaning price to $300 to $800+. Multiple drains backing up in the home at once is a common sign of a main line stoppage.
Storm drain, French drain, or drain tile cleaning cost
Storm drain, French drain, or drain tile cleaning costs $200 to $600, depending on the clog location, drain length, and if the drain pipe requires repair. Clean storm drains and French drains 1 to 2 times per year to ensure proper drainage. These drain systems divert water and prevent flooding.
Gutter cleaning costs $100 to $250 on average or $0.50 to $2.50 per linear foot. Some gutter cleaning companies include French drain or drain tile cleaning in a gutter and downspout cleaning services as they are all components of the drainage system.
AC drain line cleaning cost
AC drain line cleaning costs $75 to $250 on average to unclog and flush the condensate drain line. Cleaning the AC drain line regularly prevents clogging from mold and dirt buildup. A clogged AC drain line leads to an overflowing drain pan, water damage, and more costly repairs.
Price factors to clean a drain
Drain cleaning prices by location of clog
|Toilet||$100 – $275|
|Kitchen Sink||$100 – $220|
|Bathroom Sink / Tub / Shower||$100 – $250|
|Laundry Drain||$150 – $250|
|Main Line||$175 – $800|
The clog's location is a major factor affecting drain cleaning costs. Other important price factors include:
Main line vs. secondary lines – A main line clog affects all areas of the home and may be more difficult to find and resolve than a secondary line clog affecting only one fixture, like a toilet or sink.
Number of clogs – Multiple blockages take more time to resolve, increasing labor costs. Plumbers charging a flat rate typically charge per clog.
Accessibility – Clogs far down the drain line take longer to reach and may take more time to unblock. Clogged toilets sometimes require pulling the toilet to reach the blockage and resetting it once the problem is resolved, increasing labor and material costs.
Severity / blockage cause –The debris material and how compacted it is, affects the labor and equipment required to break it up.
Snakes and power augers work best for clogs from hair, food, toilet paper, and hygiene products, small tree roots, and leaves.
Hydro jetting costs more but is often needed for large tree roots, compacted sewer sludge, grease, and oil buildup.
Video inspection – A sewer camera inspection costs $125 to $500 and allows the plumber to locate and assess the blockage without digging up the ground or breaking through walls.
Plumbing rates – Plumbers charge $45 to $150 per hour and most have a minimum $50 to $200 call-out fee during normal business hours. After-hours emergency rates are often 2 to 3 times more than the standard pricing.
Repair costs after drain cleaning
Drain cleaning may uncover more serious plumbing problems requiring additional repairs. Possible costs after drain cleaning include:
Drain pipe replacement
Sewer line repair or replacement
Main sewer line repair costs $1,600 to $7,200 on average or $50 to $250 per linear foot.
Full sewer line replacement costs $2,000 to $10,000 or $50 to $250 per linear foot when the damage is too severe to repair.
Trenching – Trenching costs $5 to $12 per linear foot and may be required when repairing a subsurface drain tile system or when the broken pipe is underground.
Mold removal – Mold removal costs $15 to $30 per square foot and may be necessary if water damage is not resolved right away.
Water softener – Installing a water softener costs $800 to $2,500 and is ideal in hard-water areas to prevent mineral buildup that clogs pipes.
DIY cost to clean a drain myself
The cost to clean a drain yourself depends on the clog location and the cleaning method used. Plungers are the cheapest option and work for toilet and sink clogs close to the drain inlet. Larger clogs further down the line may require renting a plumbing snake.
|Plunger||$4 – $20||Uses suction to bring clogged debris to the surface.|
|Liquid drain cleaner||$5 – $70||Enzyme or chemical solution slowly dissolves food waste, paper, fats, greases, and oils.|
|Water-powered pulsating Valve||$15 – $30||Faucet attachment uses water pressure to break up the clog.|
|Toilet auger||$10 – $50||Hand crank pushes a spring wire into the toilet to free the clog.|
|Snake rental||$30 – $80 per day||Larger and more powerful auger for main sewer line clogs or more severe blockages.|
Enzyme drain cleaners are non-toxic and dissolve clogs without harming the pipe itself. Some older or damaged pipes cannot handle harsh chemical drain cleaners.
Some clogs occur in the P-trap — the U-shaped pipe under the sink or tub. Removing and cleaning out the P-trap may resolve the issue.
Frequently asked questions
How often should drains be cleaned?
Experts recommend cleaning drains professionally every 1 to 2 years. Larger households may need more frequent cleaning. Monthly cleaning using a non-toxic enzyme cleaner or vinegar, baking soda, and hot water mixture loosens and washes down debris like food, oils, and hair, preventing major clogging issues.
Consider professional drain cleaning when:
Water is slow to drain.
Foul odors emit from the drains.
Pipes make gurgling sounds.
Water pools in basement drains.
Water backs up in the tub, shower, toilet, or sink.
It has been more than 2 years since the pipes were cleaned.
How long does drain cleaning take?
Drain cleaning takes 1 to 3 hours on average, depending on the clog type, size, and location. Clogs close to the drain opening typically take less time to resolve than a clog in the main sewer line.
Can cleaning a drain make the problems worse?
Cleaning a drain can sometimes make the problems worse. Using a plumbing snake incorrectly may push the clog deeper or puncture the drain pipe, leading to more serious issues. Chemical drain cleaners are toxic and may dissolve the clogged debris but may also eat through or damage the pipe itself.
Getting estimates from drain cleaners near you
Before hiring a drain cleaner near you, be sure to:
Hire a licensed, bonded, and insured plumber who has been in business for at least five years.
Search for plumbers specializing in drain cleaning services, as they will have all the necessary sewer line cleaning equipment.
Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Avoid going with the lowest estimate as quality may suffer. Extremely low, "too good to be true" pricing may result in very high charges for any needed repairs.
Beware of scams as most drain technicians are paid by commission.
Get a detailed contract breaking down all the fees in writing before the work begins.
Never pay in full before the work begins.
Questions to ask
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Are your workers paid hourly or on commission?
What experience do you have with drain cleaning?
Do you offer a warranty for the work?
Can you provide some references with contact information?
What are your hours?
How much more do you charge for emergencies during off hours?
How soon can I get an appointment?
What advice do you have for avoiding future plumbing issues?